May 2000 Newsletter

ISSUE #47 MAY 2000

DATE: Saturday, May 20th
TIME: 4 PM (Pig cooking will start in the morning! And of course
you can come a little earlier to set up if you like)
PLACE: Suydam Farm, 29 Skillman Lane, Somerset, NJ 08873
PHONE: (732) 846-6200

It’s here! The “Near the Beer” BYHB finals are slated for May 20th, Saturday at the Suydam farm in Somerset. Quite fitting, onsidering that we started this competition over one year ago last March at none other than Suydam farm!

The plan is to start the competition early on, so that the festivities can get under way as soon as possible! Everyone who has qualified in the BYHB is eligible to enter, win prizes, and, of course, share in the festivities (actually, everyone in the club is expected to share in the festivities as well!). If you qualified and are a member of PALE ALES, please contact Joe Bair (schd@p… or (609) 252-1800 )ASAP.

You are encouraged to bring your camping gear, as we will be evaluating a good many beers, and the Suydams have offered to let us stay over. Did I mention we will be having a bonafide pig roast as well? This should be a blast and one of the club’s funnest events, so be sure to mark your calendars.


For those who are interested, here is the short version of the BYHB

1) Each brewer can only bring only one entry. The brewer must be present, as they will introduce and describe their beer to the other evaluators.

2) If you are going to bring a beer, e-mail Joe Bair (schd@p…) to pre-register. Include the following information: the OG or (how many pounds of fermentables), whether it is hoppy or malty, and if you added anything that would cover up (i.e., if you used any fruit, spices, or unusual yeasts) the fresh taste of the barley andhops.

3) The brewer will be able to pour their own beer and vote. All other brewers will also be allowed to vote. It does not matter what style (if any) the beer is. They will be evaluated on how they compare to the other beers (fresh taste, no off-flavors from fermentation or sanitation problems) Simple evaluation sheets will be handed out, in which evaluators will write what they remember about the beers and when they have sampled all the beer – each evaluator will privately decide which ones will advance.

4) As this is a club competition, if your beer is selected to advance, you must become a member of PALE ALES or forfeit your chance to be in the finals. To become a member, please bring a check made out to PALE ALES for the amount of $24 to the competition.) If you don’t advance, you can try again in the next quarterly competition. All present and past officers of PALE ALES have final authority in settling any dispute, ties or determining if a beer is infected and thus disqualified. Sorry, but no meads, ciders, or wines will be evaluated. Contact Joe Bair for more information on the competition at schd@p… or (609) 252-1800.


Charlie Papazian, homebrewing guru, kicked off his East Coast tour in Princeton this past April 8th at the Susan Paterson Center in Princeton. No surprise that it was one of the biggest events hosted by the club, with close to 90 people in attendance.

Charlie regaled attendees with many humorous stories about homebrewing. Some that stick out:

* Charlie had been using this Lager yeast for over ten years to make all of these great eclectic beers. He had gotten the yeast from someone at Coors, but never knew what it was. It turned out after many years the strain was identified (by the id number on the vessel), and he found that he was fermenting Budweiser!!!

* Charlie mentioned that in many blind taste tests of local American beers verses big name imports, that the American beers typically always win. Of course, when the labels are visible, the opposite result occurs. As he put it “We drink with our eyes.”

* In early brewing days, Charlie had fashioned his brewing recipes for 13 gallon batches, an odd size. Someone had asked him – “Why 13 gallons Charlie?”. His response “That’s the most beer you can fit in a trash can!”

* Some insights into Charlie’s first batches of beer (many of which were quite undrinkable!) – he used baker’s yeast and cane sugar, and he stirred with his hand.

* Other words of wisdom – Support your local homebrewer. Buy good ingredients. Relax, have a homebrew.

This was my first encounter with Charlie and I found him humorous, honest, friendly, and laid back – in short, very much into the spirit of the event and homebrewing. (Myself and half a dozen PALE ALES members also joined Charlie and wife Sandra for dinner at Triumph prior to the event.) Charlie chatted with whoever approached him and of course signed many a book that evening.

After Charlie’s talk, people mingled, drank and ate, and we held the BYHB, with ten people moving on.

Speaking of food and beer, both were plentiful and excellent. Stouts, bitters, Stickebier, pale ales and many others mingled with many exotic food offerings from club members. (Maybe, we should have something like this every year – like around the Holidays). River Horse Brewery glasses signed by Papazian were given out to attendees as door prizes.

Kudos to V-P team Andrew Koontz and Laurie Harmon for finding this excellent meeting place (two fridges, free parking, a full kitchen, and lots of space!!) Also, thanks to all the volunteers who helped things run so smoothly!

The nominal admission fee of $5 covered all of the club’s expenses. Charlie’s other expenses (except dinner and cab fare) were covered by tour sponsors Crosby & Baker, White Labs, and Briess. IMHO, one of the best events yet hosted by your friendly neighborhood homebrew club – PALE ALES. Who knows maybe we will host Michael Jackson next?


June 25th (Sunday) will mark the 4th Annual Garden State Brewers Festival. As in previous years, the festival will be held at Waterloo Village in Stanhope, NJ (in the Northwest corner of the state), from noon to 5pm.

Waterloo Village is a beautifully restored farmstead with lots of room to roam. You can sample beers from 13 NJ breweries with your complimentary tasting glass. Also, there is great food, vendors (from cigars, to jerky, to beer newspapers) and lots of music. Last year’s event sold out so don’t put off getting tickets. See the Garden State Brewer’s site at for more details.


Mark your calendars for the E.T. Barnette Homebrew competition (AHA sanctioned). The grand prize for Best of Show is $500!!!

Five Classes will judged: Dark Ale, Light Ale, Dark Lager, Light Lager and Specialty/Mixed style. Mead entries are welcome. Entries will be accepted: July 6-12, 2000

Entry fees: Submit three 12-16 oz brown or green crown capped
bottles and a check or money order for $5.00 in U.S. funds. The first round of judging will take place on July 15th. The final, Best of
Show round of judging will take place on July 19.

More info, as well as Entry and Bottle ID forms can be found at

Should you have any questions about the competition or are interesting in judging contact Scott Stihler at (907)474-2138 or stihlerunits@m….


Beers International, a NJ-based organization for beer appreciation
founded by beer luminary Richie Stolarz will host Michael Jackson on September 28. This will mark Jackson’s 13th annual appearance in New Jersey. Beers International is the only organization in the country to have Jackson lecturing and tasting beers for 13 consecutive years. See the web site for more details and other events at


(compiled from the AHA web site at
and other sources)

May 15 2000 – May 20 2000 Rochester,NY
UNYHA 22nd Annual Homebrew Competition/11th Empire State Open
Entries due 4/12/00 – 5/6/00 with $5 per 3 bottle-entry.
Contact: Tina Weymann
Phone: (716) 482-3346 (h) – (716) 231-1212 (w)
Email: tweymann@h…

May 18 2000 – May 20 2000 Lafayette,LA
Weiss Is Nice AHA Club-Only Competition
This year’s competition put on by the Dead Yeast Society. Entries due
5/7 – 5/13. For the send-to location, check out the URL below.
Contact: Bruce Thomas
Email: bruce.thomas@a…

May 19 2000 – May 21 2000 Orlando,FL
11th Annual Sunshine Challenge
Entries due April 24-May 8; Entry fee $6.00; Awards Ceremony May 21
Contact: Ron Bach
Phone: 407-696-2738 (h) – 407-897-2880 x104(w)
Email: bachian@juno,com

May 19 2000 – May 20 2000 Corvallis,OR
18th Annual Oregon Homebrew Festival
Entries due May 15 with $5 entry fee.
Contact: Mark Kowalski
Phone: (541) 715-8574 – (541) 752-2008
Email: mhkowalski@h…

May 20 2000 – Jun 4 2000 Arlington,TX
Celtic Brewoff
Entries due 5/6/00 with $6 entry fee.
Contact: JB Flowers
Phone: (817) 467-0398 – (817) 472-4241
Email: APICT8@a…

May 20 2000 – Wasilla,AK
Great Bear Beer Hunt
Entries due 5/19/00 with $4 entry fee.
Contact: Lowell Burgett
Phone: (907) 373-0885 –
Email: lb@m…

May 20 2000 – May 21 2000 Tacoma,WA
Hops Annual May Fest III
Entries due 4/17/00-5/18/00 with $7 for first, $5 for additional
Contact: Jeff King
Phone: (253) 843-2817 –
Email: jeffking1958@e…



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PALE ALES is a Princeton-based homebrew club.

Email: paleales@a…
Web page:

*Secretary/Newsletter Editor, Kevin Trayner
*President, Steve Rowley
*Vice Presidents, Andy Koontz and Laurie Harmon
*Treasurer, Steve Ashton
*Program Director, Dave Albert

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Princeton and Local Environs Ale and Lager Enthusiast Society